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DOJ OIG — The Handling of Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Allegations by the Department’s Law Enforcement Components

March 27, 2015 Comments off

The Handling of Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Allegations by the Department’s Law Enforcement Components (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Inspector General
From Executive Summary (PDF):

\The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) conducted this review to assess how the Department of Justice’s (Department) four law enforcement components respond to sexual misconduct and harassment allegations made against their employees. This review examined the nature, frequency, reporting, investigation, and adjudication of such allegations in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF); the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA); the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and the United States Marshals Service (USMS).

The OIG’s ability to conduct this review was significantly impacted and delayed by the repeated difficulties we had in obtaining relevant information from both the FBI and DEA as we were initiating this review in mid-2013.1 Initially, the FBI and DEA refused to provide the OIG with unredacted information that was responsive to our requests, citing the Privacy Act of 1974 and concerns for victims and witnesses as the reasons for the extensive redactions, despite the fact that the OIG is authorized under the Inspector General Act to receive such information.2

After months of protracted discussions with management at both agencies, the DEA and FBI provided the information without extensive redactions; but we found that the information was still incomplete. Ultimately, based on a review of information in the OIG Investigations Division databases, we determined that a material number of allegations from both DEA and FBI were not included in the original responses to our request for the information.

We were also concerned by an apparent decision by DEA to withhold information regarding a particular open misconduct case. The OIG was not given access to this case file information until several months after our request, and only after the misconduct case was closed. Once we became aware of the information, we interviewed DEA employees who said that they were given the impression that they were not to discuss this case with the OIG while the case remained open. The OIG was entitled to receive all such information from the outset, and the failure to provide it unnecessarily delayed our work.

Therefore, we cannot be completely confident that the FBI and DEA provided us with all information relevant to this review. As a result, our report reflects the findings and conclusions we reached based on the information made available to us.

Annual Report of the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice: Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program FY 2014

March 26, 2015 Comments off

Annual Report of the Departments of Health and Human Services and Justice: Health Care Fraud and Abuse Control Program FY 2014 (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services/U.S. Department of Justice

During Fiscal Year (FY) 2014, the Federal government won or negotiated over $2.3 billion in health care fraud judgments and settlements , and it attained additional administrative impositions in health care fraud cases and proceedings. As a result of these efforts, as well as those of preceding years, in FY 2014, approximately $3.3 billion returned to the Federal government or paid to private persons. Of this $3.3 billion, the Medicare Trust Funds3 received transfers of approximately $1.9 billion during this period, and over $523 million in Federal Medicaid money was similarly transferred separately to the Treasury as a result of these efforts. The HCFAC account has returned over $27.8 billion to the Medicare Trust Funds since the inception of the Program in 1997.

In FY 2014, the Department of Justice (DOJ) opened 924 new criminal health care fraud investigations. Federal prosecutors filed criminal charges in 496 cases involving 805 defendants. A total of 734 defendants were convicted of health care fraud-related crimes during the year. Also in FY 2014, DOJ opened 782 new civil health care fraud investigations and had 957 civil health care fraud matters pending at the end of the fiscal year. In FY 2014, the FBI investigative efforts resulted in over 605 operational disruptions of criminal fraud organizations and the dismantlement of the criminal hierarchy of more than 142 health care fraud criminal enterprises.

FBI — Progress Report: Panel Conducts Review of FBI Since 9/11 Commission Report

March 26, 2015 Comments off

Progress Report: Panel Conducts Review of FBI Since 9/11 Commission Report
Source: FBI

A congressionally mandated panel charged with reviewing the FBI’s implementation of recommendations contained in the 9/11 Commission Report in 2004 today issued its findings.

The release of the 9/11 Review Commission’s report, The FBI: Protecting the Homeland in the 21st Century, followed 14 months of research, interviews, briefings, and field visits by commissioners and their 13-member staff. The commission—which included former Attorney General Edwin Meese, former Congressman Tim Roemer, and Georgetown University professor Bruce Hoffman—began its review in 2013 at the FBI’s request after Congress called for an appraisal of the Bureau’s progress since the 9/11 Commission issued its recommendations in 2004. A classified draft of the Review Commission’s report was sent to Congress and to other agencies mentioned in the report; the FBI released the unclassified version for the public.

That report, which can be found on FBI.gov, concludes that the FBI has “transformed itself over the last 10 years” and “made measurable progress building a threat-based, intelligence-driven national security organization.” The commission also makes recommendations on where the FBI can improve.

Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2014 National Report

March 25, 2015 Comments off

Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2014 National Report
Source: Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (DoJ)

Juvenile Offenders and Victims: 2014 National Report is the fourth edition of a comprehensive report on juvenile crime, victimization, and the juvenile justice system. The report consists of the most requested information on juveniles and the juvenile justice system in the U.S. Developed by the National Center for Juvenile Justice (NCJJ) for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), the report draws on reliable data and relevant research to provide a comprehensive and insightful view of young offenders and victims, and what happens to those who enter the juvenile justice system in the United States. The report offers to Congress, state legislators, other state and local policymakers, educators, juvenile justice professionals, and concerned citizens-empirically based answers to frequently asked questions about the nature of juvenile crime and victimization and about the justice system’s response.

Justice Department Announces Findings of Two Civil Rights Investigations in Ferguson, Missouri

March 4, 2015 Comments off

Justice Department Announces Findings of Two Civil Rights Investigations in Ferguson, Missouri
Source: U.S. Department of Justice

The Justice Department announced the findings of its two civil rights investigations related to Ferguson, Missouri, today. The Justice Department found that the Ferguson Police Department (FPD) engaged in a pattern or practice of conduct that violates the First, Fourth, and 14th Amendments of the Constitution. The Justice Department also announced that the evidence examined in its independent, federal investigation into the fatal shooting of Michael Brown does not support federal civil rights charges against Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson.

“As detailed in our report, this investigation found a community that was deeply polarized, and where deep distrust and hostility often characterized interactions between police and area residents,” said Attorney General Eric Holder. “Our investigation showed that Ferguson police officers routinely violate the Fourth Amendment in stopping people without reasonable suspicion, arresting them without probable cause, and using unreasonable force against them. Now that our investigation has reached its conclusion, it is time for Ferguson’s leaders to take immediate, wholesale and structural corrective action. The report we have issued and the steps we have taken are only the beginning of a necessarily resource-intensive and inclusive process to promote reconciliation, to reduce and eliminate bias, and to bridge gaps and build understanding.”

Drug Courts

February 17, 2015 Comments off

Drug Courts (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs

Drug courts are specialized court docket programs that target criminal defendants and offenders, juvenile offenders, and parents with pending child welfare cases who have alcohol and other drug dependency problems. Although drug courts vary in target populations and resources, programs are generally managed by a multidisciplinary team including judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, community corrections, social workers and treatment service professionals. Support from stakeholders representing law enforcement, the family and the community is encouraged throu

Alzheimer’s Aware: A Guide for Implementing a Law Enforcement Program to Address Alzheimer’s in the Community

February 10, 2015 Comments off

Alzheimer’s Aware: A Guide for Implementing a Law Enforcement Program to Address Alzheimer’s in the Community (PDF)
Source: Bureau of Justice Assistance

As the nation’s population continues to age, there will be more cases of Alzheimer’s disease and therefore, more and more opportunities where those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia may come in contact with local law enforcement and public safety officials.

Law enforcement could become involved with individuals with Alzheimer’s and their caregivers under a variety of every‐day circumstances. Below are a few examples of behaviors or situations that could get the attention of law enforcement:

  • Exhibiting erratic driving or breaking general rules of the road
  • Crossing a road way or walking through traffic seemingly unaware of the danger
  • Wandering with a dazed/lost like appearance
  • Sitting in a car along the side of the road (perhaps the car is out of gas)
  • Being out of place in a particular situation (on a hiking trail/park late at night)
  • Inappropriately dressed for the situation or weather (not wearing a coat in winter, or inappropriately barefoot)
  • A call to police regarding missing items or a “break‐in”
  • Inability to follow or understand simple requests (May I see your driver’s license and car registration, please?)
  • Difficulty interacting appropriately with others
  • A domestic violence or physical abuse call that turns out to be a situation with a caregiver and an individual with Alzheimer’s disease
  • A shop‐lifting accusation, “stealing” from local businesses but actually believing they paid for the item or that the item is already theirs
  • Responding to a call for a welfare check and having concerns about abuse, neglect or domestic violence, based on observations

Whatever the situation, it can be difficult for an officer to know what to do, and how to address the problem, and, as the world’s population ages, these types of situations will only increase in frequency and will impact all law enforcement agencies at some point or another. Many law enforcement agencies across the nation are already working to increase positive outcomes when someone with Alzheimer’s or other form of dementia is reported missing, or when an officer encounters someone with Alzheimer’s, or a caregiver, during the normal course of their duties, through specialized trainings, resources and policy development which may include:

  • Recognizing the signs of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Learning best practices in approaching and communicating with persons who have Alzheimer’s
  • Being aware of situations where an officer might encounter individuals with Alzheimer’s and effective ways to respond during those interactions
  • Insights and best practices in conducting searches for missing persons with Alzheimer’s – which is different than the manner one would plan or conduct a search for other missing persons
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